Marijuana has been considered as one of the most used recreational drugs in the US. One of the most fascinating things about this drug is the fact that most of those who use it in America are law abiding citizens who usually take it to get high. However, some of those who use it gain from the therapeutically researched values that it poses in easing the suffering that is mostly caused by wasting diseases such as cancer, AIDS and other chronic conditions (Joseph, 102). The use of this substance has been of great debate with both sectors of the divide portraying their cases strongly. However, the benefits of using marijuana if carefully considered are by far, advantageous only if it is legalized and controlled.
What is marijuana?
Although it is commonly used, some people have never seen it or known what all is about. Marijuana is a drug that is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa ubiquitous hemp plant. The drug has a variety of names ranging from pot to weed and even grass and so on in the United States. One of the main active substances in the drug as research has shown is the tetrahydrocannabinol. Marijuana as scientists and researchers have established is not a narcotic drug and this tends to imply that it is addictive if used properly. As most scientists have argued, marijuana has the characteristic of diminishing inhibitions and therefore acts to create euphoria. However, it is only once in a while that the drug usually causes hallucinations.
Medicinal value of marijuana
Although ground breaking research has been carried out on the subject matter, the findings which are very concrete have been hampered by the “highly polarized debate” which mostly centers on the legal aspects of the drug (Mack and Elizabeth, 3). Scientists and researchers have all along being going against the tide of some of the hardcore critics who do not want to hear anything regarding marijuana. It can even be claimed that both sides of the divide may be speaking of a different type of drug all together. One of the hard line position’s that is taken by critics is clearly echoed by a statement made by the California Narcotics association. The statement tries to highlight the fact that there may be over ten thousand studies which tend to confirm their hardliner stands that marijuana causes harm both psychologically and physically (Clarita, 2). The authenticity of this statement is however wanting.
This is in sharp contrast to some of the statements that scientists and researcher make. One of the most vocals editors Lynn in introducing the book “ Cannabis in Medical Practice” argues that the therapeutic advantages that marijuana possess outweigh the so called “ psychological and physical harmful effects” that most hardliners argue about. She goes ahead and states that marijuana can be used to ease the pain and suffering that most go through when suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, spinal conditions and other maladies.
Researchers at the Institute of Medicine (I.O.M) carried out a groundbreaking research on the use of marijuana as a medicinal substance. The research was requested by the arm of White House which deals with the national drug and control policies. The research came up with concrete results which in one of their concrete conclusions showed that the ingredients in marijuana could be developed into a variety of pharmaceuticals which can produce exceptional results (Mack and Elizabeth, 6).
Legalizing marijuana as a way to reduce crime
Although this could be far fetched the advantages of legalizing marijuana could after all yield positive results not only to those who use it, but the government as well. It is a common fact that the jail system in the US is being overcrowded by unnecessary “criminals”. Those who use marijuana may find themselves in jails and this in turn depletes the government useful resources in maintaining the jail prison systems. Legalization of marijuana could in turn reduce the tendency of being arrested for either possessing it illegally or selling it. Some of those who use it use different means to obtain it and these ways may involve violent robberies, its induction into substances such as drugs and other ways. This could be a thing of the past when it is legalized.
Economic advantages of legalizing marijuana
The obvious thing that always comes into mind when a substance is legalized is the financial implications it would have on the economy. One of the main benefits of legalizing marijuana is the increased revenue that the government gets from collection of taxes. Another positive side of legalizing it would be the increase in jobs and this would in turn translate to better living standards. Government would also indirectly benefit by reducing the number of offenders in the jail systems which means that the government would use less revenue in maintaining the prison systems.
One of the ardent supporters of legalizing marijuana argues that its legalization would be more beneficial particularly considering the economic benefits that it come about with. He further suggests that cigarettes and alcohol are in no way less harmful and they should be used as models in legalizing marijuana (Rushefsky, 341).